This morning I headed out long before twilight to the lake. I wasn’t sleeping anyway and my Mam & Dad were on my mind.
Today was their anniversary and I thought it might be nice to light a candle and share a moment with them. Both of them have part of their ashes in Lake Parker, so I have the privilege of visiting them whenever I need to.
And the darkness with a clear sky was perfectly appropriate as it allowed me to stare off into the stars and imagine them hearing my words.
I took a few shots (always travel with my camera) and until I was eventually interrupted by a guy launching his boat, the time there was very much just them and I. It was both sad and special.
I left as twilight began to happen. It was definitely more of a visit than a photo shoot. I had said my words and somewhere out there, hoped they heard me.
It is difficult to explain the arrival at that time of life when you become an orphan through age.
Most of us lose our parents sometime and it is a very natural event. But that doesn’t make the loss any less, unfortunately. In fact, if you felt the love of caring parents, as I did, then the loss through age becomes sadder. Because it brings with it an inevitability that degrades your life experience for the rest of your own.
When you lose a love through an accident or an ill-fated illness, the nature of their sudden demise distracts away from the whole loss. Yes, you still suffer the same loss but your anger at the event serves as a partial distraction.
Such losses are very personal and we all experience them in different ways and my general rule of measuring the loss is that the more you love someone, the more loss you experience when they are gone.
That the loss still hurts so deeply within me is a measure of how loved my parents were.
Love is indeed a blessing, but it is a double-edged one that cuts both ways.
I am not sure I agree with that old saying “better to have loved and lost than … etc.” I think it is a poor consolation, rather than a true measured wisdom.
The passage into life brings pain and loss. Babies enter a life not of their choosing and from the moment they leave the warm comfort of the womb, they suffer…. physical pain at birth and stress of the process and the unknown. The baby feels it.
And they suffer the loss of being born. Because once they are born, they begin to die. From the moment of their first breath they are one step closer to their last. In a way, they have suddenly lost their immortality.
The passage out of life also brings pain and loss. The pain may be sudden or prolonged. It may be felt in its entirety or mitigated with medicines. But in this case, the loss is experienced by those left behind. The decedent leaves all behind them.
Any feelings of loss felt by the dying are impending and not actual. A feeling of things undone, words unsaid … they are all transient and evaporate with the last breath.
But the feelings of loss within those left behind, live long after such a breath. Sometimes for years, sometimes until our own last breath takes us too.
In the early hours of a spring morning, they travel with us in the darkness to the side of a lake. And they look with us into the night sky and search in vain for solace.
Sadness is the natural replacement for love. And it demands a very high price.
…. just a thought.